Behind Enemy Lines: Patriots-Ravens II

Scout.com insiders Aaron Wilson and Jon Scott answer questions about the Patriots - Ravens game. In Part 2, Scott talks about Brady's injury, the running backs and the keys to the game.

1) Is Tom Brady just as good now as he was before his ACL tear? If not, will he ever be as good as he was in '07?

Jon Scott: Brady has shown some rust this season, which is to be expected. I was told by someone who helps athletes rehab from injury, that his recovery should take a long time, possibly even up to two years to return close to normal. The damage from the injury and the ensuing staff infection could (and will) cause permanent reduction in his mobility of the joint, but as Brady has said himself; he was never the most mobile QB anyway.

2) How do you think NE will attack our defense with Faulk...who has clearly been an undervalued threat for your guys?

Scott: Faulk is the Patriots best option on a screen and via the draw play. If the Ravens continue to blitz on the outside, the Pats will use Faulk on the draw. It's a staple of their offense, and you can expect to see it at least once or twice. Also keep an eye on Faulk split out, something the Patriots like to do to create mismatches.

3) If you had to choose skilled positions or OL/Defensive front 7 play, which of the two would you pick to determine the outcome of Ravens-Patriots game this Sunday?

Scott: The battle in the trenches will determine this game. If the Patriots cannot protect Tom Brady or open holes for the running backs, the Ravens defense will eat them up. And conversely, if the Ravens cannot protect Flacco, I expect it will be a long day for Baltimore's offense.

Skill positions are always critical, but the issue is time. Who has it and who doesn't will dictate the tempo of the game and the outcome.


4) Will Wes Welker Play and if he doesn't who will take his place?

Scott: We expect Welker to be close to returning. He's a game time decision and it's unclear if that means he'll start. If we had to guess, we'll say he's back.


5) Will Fred Taylor be the main running back or is it Maroney?

Scott: Taylor turned in a 100 yard game last week and looks to be the main goto guy. But the Patriots continue to try and get the ball into Laurence Maroney's hands. Also in the mix are Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris. With four main backs (not including BenJarvus Green-Ellis) the Patriots have to find ways to get all of them involved. Maroney was dinkgs with a thigh injury, so we'll see how much he plays.

Three Keys To Game:

Patriots must stop the run. The Ravens have one of the best ground games in the league. New England isn't bad, but have had problems in the past. If Wilfork is not playing then it could be a long day for the Pats.

Pressure Flacco - The Patriots cannot allow Joe Flacco to set in the pocket and pick the defense apart. With all the changes to the secondary, a good QB can find a lot of success.

Protect Brady - The Patriots must find a way to keep Brady on his feet. Brady had all sorts of trouble dealing with the pressur eform the Jets, Expect the same from Baltimore

 


Check Behind Enemy Lines Part 1 for answers from Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson..
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